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Bermuda protesters join march against Trump

Bermuda residents gather in Queen Elizabeth Park to show solidarity with the women’s march on Washington(Photograph by Nadia Hall)

Hundreds of thousands of women took to streets across the United States in protest of Donald Trump’s inauguration as President, with demonstrators from Bermuda describing an exhilarating show of strength.

“The energy and feeling was incredible; everyone there was resisting policies that will be harmful to women, particularly marginalised women,” journalist Clare O’Connor said of Saturday’s throng that packed the streets of Washington, DC — an outpouring dubbed a “counter-inauguration” by The New York Times. Using her press pass to get close to the stage, Ms O’Connor thrilled at the address from leading feminist Gloria Steinem, and the leadership shown by figures such as junior US Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Tammy Duckworth.

“Organisers pulled this off in such a short period of time; they only started planning after the election.”

Ms O’Connor witnessed an outpouring of “women of colour, transwomen, immigrants of all genders — I left tired but encouraged; it was three times the size of the inauguration”.

Trump’s campaign against Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival, was distinguished by its strident tone, but the surfacing of misogynistic remarks made in 2005 were received with deep offence, despite Trump’s protestation that it had been mere “locker room talk”.

“Everywhere you looked there was a sea of pink hats, worn by men and women,” Ms O’Connor said — apparel worn as a specific statement against the crude remarks caught on tape. Appalled that “someone in the highest office in the world not only used that language but admits to that behaviour”, Ms O’Connor’s message to young women was: “Join the fight.”

Little pushback was in evidence beyond a number of Trump supporters carrying homophobic placards, who she said were “not engaged” by demonstrators. A similarly peaceful atmosphere was reported from the packed streets of New York city, by Bermudian Jessie Frith.

“Very inspiring, and very peaceful,” reported Ms Frith, after following the protests from 42nd Street and Second Avenue down to Sixth Avenue.

She saw “a lot of children” and men showing their support.

“I came away from it realising how much work there is to be done. This was the first step of coming together — there were so many of us there for the same reason. It felt wonderful after so much division in our nation. I felt euphoric — I felt ready to go to work.

Added Ms Frith: “I was there with a group of Americans. But there were a lot of countries — and it was really cool to hear that Bermuda was represented.”

Meanwhile, in Bermuda people gathered in Queen Elizabeth Park to show solidarity with protesters in the US. Some estimates put the number at around 150.